Tuesday, 9 November 2010

It's an Alien

I'm talking about the little brown and white heifer on the left, she looks like a perfectly nice baby cow to me, but thats not what her mother thought.
She was abandonned at birth!!!!!, as soon as she finished calving the new mother moved as far away from her baby as the shed permitted, and even after the calf staggered to its feet and went looking for comfort and the milk bar, the mum was having nothing to do with her.
Needless to say this is not the usual way of things, more often the new mums spend so much time licking the new arrival that it never gets a chance to sleep or feed. We only leave the calves with their mums for 24 hours, which seems cruel but the cows have far too much milk for one calf and dont let it down in the parlour if they still have the calf, leading to mastitis for the mum and the trots for the calf.
Also the longer you leave the calf with its mum the more attached they get and the more misery when you separate them. We dont breed for good parenting in dairy cows but we dont often get a calf quite as abandonned, anyway happily for "ET" (named by the children) social services (us) have saved her from a short life of neglect and she has a comfy pen with lots of straw, a friend to play with and a "magic mummy" to feed her lots of milk.
She is getting her own mums milk, we do a quick delivery after milking time while it's still warm.

On saturday we moved the lambs onto a new field, we needed to redeploy some of the same electric fencing so in the meantime they went in the farm yard....... and the garden.
They have done a lovely job on the grass, its been too wet to mow, and I moved my precious agaves in their pots to safety on top of the table.

Unfortunately sheep dont seem to like leaves so when the children offered to rake them up I was very happy, I didnt even mind having to wash all their clothes after they all rolled in them, then moved onto giving each other rides in the wheelbarrow.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Nick!
    First, I think I need to do some "studying-up" on Dairy Talk. There were a few words in there that totally stumped me. I'm sure that I'll get it down the more I read.
    But I can tell you that you lead a fascinating life. You may not think so but from where I sit, you do. The more kids that I have, the more that I want to do what Fred wants and that is to live on a Farm.
    My email address is on my Site. I would love to hear more about about what you told to me about your oldest child.
    Thanks for reaching out to me and sharing.
    Your New Friend, m.